Red River Valley Sugarbeet Industry Oral History Project: Interview with Beatriz Muzquiz Castillo
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Beatriz Castillo was born on October 26, 1958 in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. She was the second oldest child of Jose Luiz and Ofelia Muzquiz. Her early education was at Francisco Imadero elementary school, the Instituto de las Americas and Benito Juarez secondary school, all located in Mexico. In 1974 she immigrated with her parents to Crystal City, Texas. She became an American citizen when she turned 18. After the arrived in the United States, her family spent the next several summers working as migrant workers: three years working with sugar cane in Plainview, Texas; two years working with sugarbeets in Worland, Wyoming; and then working with sugarbeets in Weldona, Colorado. During fall, winter and spring, her father worked as a butcher. After finishing college, Beatriz got out of migrant work when she found work as a WIC clerk with the Vida y Salud Health System in Crystal City. At the same time she also worked part-time at a radio station as a Spanish-speaking DJ. Beatriz came to the Red River Valley after her boyfriend (and eventual husband) moved to Moorhead. Instead of enduring the separation, she and Juan Castillo, Jr., were married in 1989. At the time of the interview she served as a home school liaison with the Moorhead School District and worked with several community organizations that assist migrant workers. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Growing up in a Mexican city across the Rio Grande from Texas; immigration to the United States; differences in Texan and Mexican education; the perception that she was an outsider among other Mexican-Americans in Texas; parents' work in various migrant fields; the challenge of balancing a nine month job with summer migrant work; breaking away from the lifestyle pattern of a migrant worker; her numerous jobs and how they prepared her for her work with the Moorhead School District; steps taken to be a part of the community; difficulties current migrant workers face in Fargo-Moorhead; views on various types of discrimination encountered in Minnesota and Texas; the importance of retaining one's cultural heritage; the value of continuing to occasionally work in the fields.
35 pages transcript
Content Category: text
Interviewee: Castillo, Beatriz Muzquiz
Interviewer: Shoptaugh, Terry L.
Made in: Moorhead, Clay County, Minnesota, United States
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 40 (Library Call Number)
AV2000.37.4 (Accession Number)
MHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Red River Valley Sugarbeet Industry Oral History Project'